Conversation with Jim Brickman

What makes a four-year-old beg to play the piano? Jim Brickman admits he has no idea. It was at that age, though, when he first asked his parents for lessons, and they signed him up. They didn't buy him a piano right away—after all, kids are notorious for picking up and giving up hobbies at the drop of a hat. But Brickman hasn't stopped playing since that day, and now his romantic contemporary classics are favorites at weddings, and he is a platinum-selling, GRAMMY-nominated recording artist. This December, the pianist who has collaborated with the likes of Carly Simon and Martina McBride brings his holiday tour to Charlotte.


This will be your thirteenth annual holiday tour. What has that experience taught you to expect about this year's tour?
People are always in great moods during the holidays. It's all about the festivities and celebrations. I think about that when I make decisions about what songs to play. It's a special time of year.

Have you been to Charlotte before? What do you think of the city?
I've been there so many times. It's a wonderful city. I grew up not only in Cleveland, but in Norfolk, Virginia, so kind of close to the area. It's like a homecoming for me.

Your fans are called Brickheads. Are there a lot in Charlotte?
Sure. I have the kind of career that is polarized. If you know my music and have been to the shows, you love me, but if you haven't, you haven't heard of me.

Mark Masri, Anne Cochran, and Tracy Silverman will be joining you this year. What will Silverman's electric violin add to your sound?
I always want the audience to be entertained. The most important thing is variety. A lot of couples come [to my concerts], so there are as many women as men. Guys really like the violin. I think it broadens the appeal of the concert. There's something for everybody.

What do you do when you're not working?
Anything physical. Anything to get outdoors. It's one of the reasons I live in L.A. I like to hike and that kind of thing. Anything that gets me out of the inside of a theater.

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